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Washington Journal

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Afghanistan 47, U.s. 34, Washington 32, Virginia 30, Iraq 27, Us 22, Pakistan 15, America 15, Mitch Mcconnell 11, Boehner 11, United States 10, New York 8, Obama 7, Pennsylvania 6, Eric Cantor 6, George Mason 5, Leon Panetta 5, Tim Kaine 5, Tucker Carlson 5, Arlington 5,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    July 13, 2011
    7:00 - 9:59am EDT  

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agenda includes more work and energy and water programs. in about 45 minutes, it looked at u.s. military objectives in iraq and afghanistan with the center for strategic international studies and we will talk about the debt ceiling debate and the 2012 campaign with the former chairman of the democratic national committee, tim kaine and fox news andtucker carlson. "washington♪ host: today is wednesday, july 13. we begin by talking about the continuing negotiations regarding the gatt talks happening on capitol hill -- devt talks happening on capitol
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hill. we will have coverage of that on c-span.org. the first 45 minutes, we want to talk about some of the items in the headlines this morning. "l.a. times," debt talks grow more desperate. senators at merger -- urgent three stage process. it would have a last choice option. for the first 45 minutes, republicans only. we want to get your thoughts on republican leadership handling the debt talks. the numbers are on the screen. if you are in the eastern and central time zone for the first. the second if you are in the mountain and pacific time zones. for the first 45 minutes, just
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republicans talking about the republican congressional leadership and the handling of the debt talks. if you want to send us an e- mail, it is a journal@c- span.org. this is the headline in today's "washington post." a digg tour on debt. the ceiling could be raised without cuts. this is lori montgomery and paul kane reporting.
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we will get to your calls in just a few seconds. again, republicans only. first, we want to check in with russell berman of the "the hill" to get the latest update on the talks between the president and congressional leaders and
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whether any progress is being made toward that deal. russell berman, welcome to the "washington journal." you have the headline here, boehner, a big deal no longer operative. he told house republicans on tuesday -- between what speaker boehner is saying and what minority leader mitch mcconnell is saying, where are the negotiations at this point? guest: the prevailing milled -- mood is pessimism. the negotiations now that the congressional leaders have gone to the white house for three straight days, the of not made a whole lot of progress. each side has retrenched.
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ideologically, the democrats are leery of making any cuts or changes to entitlement programs without some revenue increases, tax increases. and republicans have been consistently opposed to anything that smacks of tax increases. so you had the mcconnell plan yesterday shaking everything up a bit. it is unclear how viable an option that will be going forward. host: when they get together with the president at the white house this afternoon, what is it that will be on the table? what will they be able to work with on the congressional side and on obama's side? guest: been talking in the last couple of days about the savings from the talks by vice president biden.
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the majority leader represented house republicans, jon kyl for senate republicans, and that vice president. they have been talking about all lot of cuts, both to discretionary and non- discretionary spending, but there the problem is that it does not seem to add at to what they would need to meet the president's requirements to get the country through the next election. that would be somewhere in the area of $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling. john boehner has made it clear that for any increase in the debt ceiling, they will not need more than a one-one increased ratio. quite frankly the democrats have not agreed to that level of
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cuts. it looks like they will go back today, scour potential areas of saying that they have talked about, and see how much they can agree to and go from there. agree to and go from there. host: in your article from yesterday's with the headline " boehner tells conference big deal no longer operative," you said that there were criticisms for the grand bargain. he pays -- he faced opposition from eric cantor. they presented a united front before the gop conference which met yesterday. give us an idea of how -- what the marching orders are and who is taking the marching orders.
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but house republicans falling behind the majority leader or behind the speaker? guest: they say that the division between boehner and cantor is not much. it is being inflated by the media and by democrats. they have been publicly taking sides, but many house republicans would like a big deal. they would like to cut as much as possible. that might be in the area of the $4 trillion that boehner was discussing. they are adamantly opposed to tax increases. in that respect, they have allegiance to both parties. boehner is clearly more willing to talk about broad tax reform and some of the things that the democrats want to talk about.
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cantor did not see that as producing a result that to not include something that was a tax increase. the more likely option is to pursue a more modest deal that they talked about in the biden group. now that boehner has backed away from the grand bargain that he was talking about, there does not seem to be any daylight between them. at least on policy. the democrats are still pushing for the grand bargain to come back on to the table. that is something to watch in the coming days. host: as we move toward the weekend, we are heading toward the down side of the week, russell berman, tell us what plans if any are there for more negotiations to go on through the weekend? guest: the president has said
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they are willing to meet every day until they come to an agreement. the expectation is that they will meet today, again, at 4:00 p.m. at the white house. and we expect that they would be meeting on thursday and friday as well, especially considering it does not look like any deal is imminent. although the treasury secretary especially has been warning that they need to come to some sort of framework or figure out what they're going to do within the next week or so, because any agreement that they do sign is going to have to go through both the house republicans and then the senate. it will take time to put that in the legislation. and to vet any deal with the rank and file all members.
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host: we have been talking with russell berman of "the hill," of their congressional reporter. you can read his reporting set their website. thank you for being on the program. we continue with our discussion regarding republican leadership and the handling of the debt talks. for the first 45 minutes, remember we are limiting the conversation to just republicans. the first number for eastern and central time zones. the second for the mountain and pacific time zones. our first call comes from a long beach, california, a teaneck, you are on the "washington journal." caller: thank you for taking my call. i am proud that the republicans are standing firm and i wish boehner could just understand how much the tax paying americans are behind him. we need to stop this runaway spending and obama needs to park
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that presidential jet and stop wasting our money for him to be on his eternal vacations and enjoying his new little toy. americans are watching him. he is the most spendthrift president we have ever had. there are more people out there than just the unions. as long as he is trying to tear america apart and he has made us look like a laughing stock all over the world, i think some of us are just getting real tired of it. i am in my 70's, and i have never felt so insecure and such a strong year of a civil war here again, because the taxpayers are getting really tired of our money being wasted and our children's future being mortgaged for his campaign.
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host: in minneapolis, we're talking with richard. caller: i am a republican and will probably both republican and a local elections because our city leaders are just spending like crazy, much like the federal government. but in reference to this debt crisis, i think republicans are reckless and stupid. in a national election, i will probably switchover to democratic candidates, especially because of this paul ryan proposal to and medicare -- end medicare and social security. i think it is going too far. once they get in, they go crazy and get too radical.
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in national elections, i will probably vote republican. thanks a lot. host: more from the "washington post" article about mitch mcconnell offering a plan that would create a new legal structure authorizing the president to raise the debt limit. the right -- they write -- back to the phones. our discussion on the republican leadership handling of the debt talks. richmond, va., carol, you are on
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the "washington journal." caller: 51%. that should scare every american. 51% of americans right now do not pay income taxes at all. i am one of those that actually do. i am echoing what the first caller said. i am behind gop all the way. i used to be democrat and i change my registration so i could bode straight republican and i will vote straight republican in 2012. i was born in the 1970's. i am getting a chance to do that this time. it is scary to see our president go in front of the nation and say, well, singers, i do not know if you're going to get your check. veterans, i do not know -- that is what at dictator says.
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that is something hugo chávez would say. host: in your hometown paper, they have this headline. mcconnell offers that proposal. urging three stage process to increase limit. what are your thoughts about that? caller: unfortunate that the house is the only friend we have. we tried so hard to give as much as we did. we did a lot with the states. but when you are dealing with someone that you really have to ask the question, does the president know what he is actually doing? the senate, they do not care. they do not have a plan. the republicans passed their budget. the president passed his budget -- gave his budget and no one voted for that. their plan is to do nothing and watch the country fall into destruction. plan.is the democrats'
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it's disingenuous to say what are republicans going to do. they only control one part of the system. it is really scary to see what is going on. i hope that the president and that the senate, harry reid, really get together and understand that the taxpayers are really fed up and we are watching. host: carolyn richmond, virginia. we continue our discussion regarding the gop congressional leadership handling of the debt talks. we remind our listeners that you can check out the question and the responses of other c-span viewers and listeners on facebook. we show it right there on the screen. we're going back to the phones as we check out some of the responses on facebook. our next call comes from stanford, north carolina,
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richard, go ahead. caller: mcconnell and boehner and cantor they should talk to the president and get harry reid. talking about taking away our social security checks? that is ridiculous. the democrats want to raise taxes? that deficit is so high. the cbo -- they all should talk, not just back-and-forth bickering. portland,s go to oregon. jim, go ahead. caller: i think the most important thing is to get the debt reduced, get a glidepath the financial solvency -- to financial solvency. republicansk the
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want to die in the ditch of zero taxes. i did not want to see the tea party isolated by the national corporate media and the grotesque characterization's. they are good people and they want to balance the budget. it is the right thing to do. i also do not want to see more uncertainty. if the agreements are reached, there is not going to necessarily be as bad as the treasury secretary said, but it will cause more uncertainty. haven't the republicans been talking about the uncertainty in the economy with the taxes, but the cap and trade, all of that? if we do not get an agreement, it is going to cause more uncertainty. what we need is growth in this economy. i'd think the republicans are right. we need certainty. businessmen need to know what is going on. if we do not get an agreement,
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it will cause a lot of uncertainty. frankly our economy as we've seen recently with the unemployment figures, more uncertainty could head for a difficult economy. host: we are going to leave it there. a reminder for those on facebook, if you can go to our page to see more of the reactions from other listeners and viewers regarding our discussion this morning on republican congressional leadership and their handling of the debt talks. in "usa today" this morning, the majority leader eric cantor along with jim jordan have this out dead. -- oped.
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we will talk more about this op/ed, but first we'll go back to the bones. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i echo the comments of the lady from california. i want the republicans to hang
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in there for what they are standing for. it is good. the president, everything -- every time he wants something his way, he says we're going to suffer without it. even to the point of holding this also security checks up. -- the social security checks up. he is not a good leader. he wastes i do not know how much money on flying air force one to take him to campaign events. that is unfair to the other campaigners out there. not only that, but it is burning gas, using money that we do not have. and he does not care, he just thinks about keeping on spending. host: she mentioned the president talking about the
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guarantee of entitlement checks. it was something that president obama talked about last night on the cbs evening news. he was asked if he can guarantee entitlement checks come august 3. this is what he had to say. >> this is not just a matter of social security checks. these are veterans checks come up folks on disability in their checks. there are about 70 million checks that go out. >> can you guarantee they are going out on august 3? >> i cannot if we have not resolve this issue. there may not be the money in the coffers to do it. host: more of that in today's "baltimore sun." white house sounds the alarm. he cannot guarantee that social security beneficiaries will
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receive checks next month unless congressional leaders agreed to raise the debt limit by august 2nd, all warning as they ratcheted up tensions over the standoff on the federal deficit. back to the phones. our next call is from suit in wisconsin. -- sue in wisconsin. caller: i am 70 years old and i do pay income tax. right now we are trillions of dollars in debt. if the seniors in this country do not understand the paul ryan theory of social security,
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medicare, and medicaid, they better learn. everyone's social security, medicare, and medicaid has to be revised and upgraded. if we allow obama to raise the debt ceiling, it will go to $ 16.3 trillion. you know what that will do for this country? if you want to be afraid of anything, be afraid of obamacare. host: the lead story in the "washington times," obama resorting to scare taxes. -- tactics. ohio, joe, you are on the "washington journal." are you there? let's go on to las vegas and james. what do you think about the republican leadership and how they have been handling the debt
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talks so far? caller: i am disappointed, actually, what the republicans and democrats. however, i think mitch mcconnell's position with the minority in the senate has no choice but to allow the debt limit to be raised in phases and let the president tonette. quite frankly, -- let the president own it. i am not sure if you were familiar with the gargantua story very the most disappointing thing that i heard yesterday with what you talked about how the actual president of the united states stating that social security checks and veterans checks -- that is one of the most profound insights into his leadership style.
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i'm very disappointed. that is not going to happen. host: let me get your response to this tweet that i have. what your thoughts on that, james and las vegas? caller: i think that jet fuel issue is a red herring. let's be straight up. if you took away -- if you tax 100 percent sign that corporate tax -- one under% the corporate jets, you will not make a dent in the spirit we have serious, serious problems. unless we get leaders willing to make decisions and not look to the next election, we are in trouble. host: next up is louisiana.
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hello, gilda? what do you think about the republican leadership handling the debt talks so far? caller: i think it is awful. i think it is really, really awful. i think the republicans are looking to turn this country back into a slave spot. they want to blame president obama for everything that is going on. president obama went into a position where this country was already great. we are not even looking at the bush taxes and what they are doing with the ceo's and millionaires. the poor people are the people that are suffering. we keep hearing the republicans talk about middle class and the president talking about the middle class. there is no such thing as middle-class anymore. i was middle-class. there is no such thing as middle-class anymore. how can you have a person on
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disability and disabled polling the federal government tax? host: let me get your thoughts on this in the "wall street journal" this morning? and new debt plan offered. they talk about the mcconnell plan this morning. also, the talk about house majority leader eric cantor suggesting they consider temporarily lowering corporate tax rates as a way to offset revenue increases from closing tax loopholes. what are your thoughts on that? caller: i cannot say what i want to say. to say. but it is just crap. but corporations are making the money. employees are not making any
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money now. i just saw a company for you, it is ridiculous. host: we will leave it there. next up, ark., charles, you're on the "washington journal." caller: he would never stop the checks to the social security or the military. if the all day -- if he did that, all you have to do is inform people of the money he is paying for is cronies. it would come down him long and hard. if you paid into social security all your life and you think that it is your money, i paid in all my life and i got everything back in seven years that i put in there. all of my children and all these people working have been paid me for six years on the dole on the social security. you better look at what you put in, what you got back, and try to figure out how the ponzi
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scheme is going to continue on. but if you do not start thinking, you have 51% that do not pay taxes. and it is never going to change if you do not make everybody pay some income tax. you have got to get out of paying people that do not work. host: thank you for that call, charles. in the "new york daily news," checks not in the mail is the question. question. digging in their heels over the stalemate. san antonio, texas, lynn, you are our necks caller. caller: we are paying too much money to too many people who do not produce. we are paying people to adopt children for overseas, tax credits this year, we are paying people to have more children than they can support. we are paying people to keep
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we are paying people to keep their addictions up to alcohol. left,wasting money right, and center. people need to rely on themselves. save your money. you work for your money. the budget your money. i would like have a cadillac, but i cannot afford it. so i do not buy it. that government is just buying cadillacs because they like them. host: in this morning's "usa today," eric cantor and jim jordan have been op/ed -- have an op/ed. they say that congress already has the ability to control spending. spending. washington had the discipline to live within its means of a long- term, every american citizen would not of $46,000 toward the national debt. what your thoughts on that? caller: it makes perfect sense.
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human people cannot continually borrow money than they can afford or they go bankrupt. companies cannot borrow more than they can afford to pay back. where in heaven's name do you think that the government can afford to borrow money? it makes no sense to any scheme of logic that there is. of course they cannot control themselves, because they have all the lobbyists saying, we will get you out of office if you impose sanity on this madhouse. host: we're talking about republican leadership and the handling of the debt talks. yesterday, speaker boehner, when he addressed the press, talked about whether or not -- was asked rather whether he agreed with senator mcconnell if they could not reach a deal in august.
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>> finding an agreement has been elusive. eric did a good job representing our caucus in those talks that went on for seven weeks. i have been in conversations and present -- with the president for the last couple of months. and in the last couple of weeks in a serious way. the president talks a good game, but when it comes to actually putting these issues on the table and making decisions, he cannot quite pull the trigger. listen, i was born with a glass half full. i am the optimists. i will continue to be the optimists so that we can do the right thing for the country. host: that was speaker boehner addressing the press yesterday after meeting with house republicans. west virginia, ryan, you are on the washington journal. caller: when i was working, i did not have much money to say. did not have much money to say. when i lost my job, it really
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hurt. so the concept of cutting all these benefits to me is really frightening. i wonder if people that have jobs do not stand in judgment of people that are unemployed. i think some of the comments are unfair. thank you. host: thank you. we want to remind our viewers and listeners that ben bernanke will be in front of the house financial services committee it later today. you will be able to see that live on c-span3. you can also listen to it live on c-span radio. he is there to talk about the federal reserve's annual military policy report. you can see that again live on c-span3 and listen to it live on c-span radio. that is fed chairman ben bernanke in front of the house financial services committee. back to the phones about the
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republican leadership and their handling of the debt talks. washington state is our next caller. cliff, what do you think about the republican leadership in their handling of the debt talks? talks? caller: i think they're doing as well as they can. it is surprising to me that more people are not pointing out that social security is a bottle -- supposedly self supporting. why wouldn't there be tax cut on the third of the month? i'm sure they are paying into the system. there should be plenty of money for. most people do not realize that $1 trillion is 1000 billion dollars, to count from one to one trillion would take you 70,000 years. so if people understood that, they might understood that -- the gravity of the situation a little better.
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host: the lead story in today's "politico." also they have a story, house republicans not ready to blank on negotiations. both of those are in the "politico." is confined that in hard copy or at their website. atlanta, georgia, you are on the "washington journal." caller: i was wondering, since they are taking taxes out of people's pay they have worked, and people of got assistance from the government, couldn't go back and sue the government? or would they keep it tight that so long that it would take a while to do that? host: our next call comes from cleveland, ohio. joe, go ahead.
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caller: i am a christian. i tithe to my church but i have paid back all of my back taxes. i pulled it out of my 401(k), and i have agreement with the federal government's. i have paid all my taxes. we need to have all the people that owe the million dollars of taxes, if we had all of that, we could put some dent in it. but i'm a patriot, too. i love america and patriotic songs. the country needs to get together and back to the first 100 years. we need to pray. we need to get the -- quit the backstabbing and the backbiting and at least try. we're not going to be perfect, but try to get along. you have a great program. host: south dakota, you are on the "washington journal." caller: 94 c-span. i do not think that the
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republicans or the democrats are doing the right thing. i think this is a country of selfishness. americans do not appreciate freedom. we do not deserve this country any longer. if you do not have through the mud guns, and water stashed out, if you're going to be foolish in the end. host: if you had a chance to be involved in the negotiations and you were sitting on the republican side of the table, what would you tell the leadership on how to resolve this difference with the white house? caller: it is not just the republican leadership. it is both. we did not get into this position overnight. it is not obama's fault, all that. some of it, yes, but not all that. george bush did the same thing. i will tell you this. i retired out of the marine corps. i have seen a lot of people overseas that would love to come to this country and they would appreciate the freedoms that we
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have. we have selfish americans and we do not deserve it no more. host: south dakota talking about the republican leadership in the handling of the debt talks. this is from the "new york daily news," yesterday's edition, talking about what republicans and the president wants. a huge gold still separates them on the debt limit deal. what the republicans want on the left side, a smaller deal to raise the devil -- the debt limit.
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then on the other side of the ledger, what the president wants. a big deal to cut $4 trillion in spending. that is from the "new york post ," yesterday's edition. kansas, d.j., your thoughts on the republican leadership and handling of the debt talks. caller: highlight for the republicans to stand strong and
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stand for what america needs to be, the foundation of being the wonder of our world, actually. the country that no longer looks up to is, the leadership -- we have no leadership at this time. i believe the previous caller was right. america has gotten greeted. it -- greedy. the people who do not pay taxes but they do get things. they might be on disability and they might be on social security, but they still get income tax returns at the end of the year. host: let me ask you this about the story in th"the hill." the right blasts absence of clear cuts in spending per your thoughts on that?
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caller: i do not know exactly -- i think it is a set up. they are going to basically -- is a blame game. i do not agree with the democrats or republicans or the president. someone needs to make hard, someone needs to make hard, tough choices that america needs to do and stand for it. that is where i stand on that. host: some other headlines in the news this morning prettily story in the "usa today." airport breaches.
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queens, new york, brenda, you are on the "washington journal." caller: i think the republicans are a bunch of hypocrites. when they were in power, under president bush, they were spending like drunken sailors. they added medicare part d, an entitlement that was never paid for. they got us into two wars. and the way they are treating president obama is just unfair. when they took over the house, the first thing they did was they help people's unemployment checks hostage just to keep the tax breaks for the wealthy.
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they act like they are so fiscally responsible, but it is a joke. it is a real joke. host: we want to remind our viewers and listeners that the president and vice president will be meeting with congressional leadership later on today around 4:00 p.m. in the cabinet room. we will have coverage of that later on in the day. you'll be able to get the details on that on our website. details on that on our website. our last call comes from north carolina. that is william. caller: good morning. i look at the situation and i agree with the republicans about the cuts. but i do not agree with them on the tax levels. i feel like that they should come up with a flat tax across the board. and then everybody would be on
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the same playing field. come up with that tax, about flat-based tax, like 10% across the board, and then when all the loopholes that you can eliminate, this is what i feel they should do. host: william and north carolina, thanks for the call. coming up in 45 minutes, we will be live it george mason law school with students from the journalism immediate conference. but next, a discussion on u.s. policy in afghanistan. but for good that, we want and let you know that yesterday president obama presented the medal of honor -- honor to sgt petry. he presented it to him tuesday for seizing all live grenade in
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attempting to hurl it away from his men during a firefight in afghanistan. an act that the military says save the lives of two other army rangers. in the ceremony, the president speaks to the very essence of america, and no matter how hard the journey, no matter hard to climb, we do not quit, we do not give up. this is more from the sergeant talking about his particular efforts in afghanistan, in pakistan rather. >> today we honor a singular act of gallantry. as we near the 10th anniversary of the attacks thrust our nation into war, it is the occasion to pay tribute to a soldier and a generation that has borne the burden of our security during a hard decade of sacrifice.
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i want to take you back to the circumstances that led to this day. it is may 26, 2008. in the remote eastern afghanistan, near the mountainous border of pakistan. helicopters carrying dozens of a lead army rangers race over the rugged landscape. and their target is an insurgent, down. the mission is high risk. it is broad daylight. the insurgents are heavily armed. but it is considered a risk worth taking because intelligence indicates that a top al qaeda commander is in that compound. soon the helicopters touched down, and our rangers immediately come under fire. within minutes, leroy -- then a staff sergeant -- and another soldier are pushing ahead into a courtyard surrounded by high mud walls.
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that is when the enemy opens up with their a k-47's. leroy is hit in both legs. he's bleeding badly. but he summons the strength to lead the other arranger to cover behind a chicken coop. he radios for support. he hurled a grenade at the enemy coming giving cover to a third ranger who rushes to their aid. an enemy grenade explodes nearby, wounding leroy's two comrades. and in the second grenade lands. this time, only a few feet away. every human impulse would tell someone to turn away. every soldier is trained to seek cover. royt is what sergeant lee r petry could have done. >> "washington journal" continues. host: in this segment we are
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talking about u.s. policy in afghanistan and iraq. we want to begin the segment by talking with the defense policy reporter with bloomberg news. she joins us by phone. she has traveled with defense and that i ton patte iraq. talk about what you heard the defense secretary do while he was overseas. guest: it was interesting to watch secretary panetta and compare how he handled the trip and his interaction with troops and with foreign leaders to secretary gates. he has fairly big shoes to f ill, according to people who were quite complementary. leon panetta also has a lot of
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familiarity with u.s. military forces. forces. with the commanders and foreign leaders that he is meeting with and going to be interacting with. with his experience as cia director for more than two years before taking this job and in other capacities, for example, a member of iraq study group that did the independent assessment in 2006 of the war in iraq. host: was specifically was the defense secretary trying to accomplish on this trip? guest: he wanted to go out and touch base with the troops themselves and make that connection. it is important for any defense secretary to reinforce that he is as supportive of the troops as secretary gates was. he also wanted to be very
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forceful with the foreign leaders in these two wars, specifically president karzai in afghanistan and prime minister maliki in iraq. and emphasize to them that they need to step up their game in terms of taking charge and using this situation any to their countries. countries. host: you write at bloomberg.com that one of the remarks that the defense secretary made that made it on to the front page of "stars and stripes," he exhorted iraqi leaders to "damn it, make a decision." tell us how that came about. guest: the staff in those meetings with secretary panetta
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and prime minister maliki and prime minister talabani said that the feeling was good. they understood the urgency about making a decision about whether to ask the u.s. to retain troops after the december target for withdrawing the remaining 46,000 u.s. servicemen and women who are in iraq. they do understand the urgency, but the question is whether they can reach a political agreement with interact -- within iraq to make that request. prime minister maliki especially is under pressure from his own shiite and the more hard-liners who are associated with that, to
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force the u.s. to go ahead and withdraw. and at the borders of iraq are very difficult currently for the iraqi security forces to guard on the run, not only on the ground, but definitely in the air. so there are still a lot of weaknesses that the iraqi security forces have that could benefit from some back up from the u.s.. and that is the push and pull going on within iraq right now. host: talk to us about the killing of president karzai's brother and the reaction by the defense secretary and his overall impressions during his trip in the afghanistan portion. guest: leon panetta felt very good about the security situation in terms of progress, not that it is fixed by any stretch. but there have been significant progress in the past year in terms of targeting al qaeda and its associated allies,
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especially the taliban, of course. he also felt like there had been progress in developing and training the afghan national security forces, the army and the national police, especially in the past year-and-a-half. still a long way to go. he did not make any comments specifically yesterday about the killing of ahmad karzai. he let those comments to the white house. it expressed regret and condemn the assassination of president karzai's half-brothers. i think there is concern generally that there could be some instability, beahmad wali karzai in its prominent position in canada are what ikan -- kandahar, he was a key figure
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in keeping control there. that may have been more of a concern a year ago before the u.s. had managed to reclaim control of that area with its afghan allies and partners on the ground. so there may not be as much ramification now as there might have been a year ago. still there is likely to be jockeying for position and power among the local forces there. host: finally, the defense secretary did not cut a pakistan on this particular trip. did he talk about what pakistan was not on his itinerary? guest: he did not talk about that specifically. it was very focused on afghanistan, but also on the border between afghanistan and pakistan. he did not say specifically why he did not go. i think it is pretty clear for a couple of reasons. the u.s. is trying to gauge just how much cooperation they
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can get from pakistan going forward. pakistan has a lot of u.s. trainers that have been working intensely with their special forces, and as a result of that, withheld some of the decade that went with them. they also repelled some of the partnership on the war on terrorism, so to speak. they are still trying to gauge that. for now, in the past, the key relationship between the u.s. and pakistan and the military have been between admiral mullen and his pakistan counterpart, the army chief of staff. i think that this point, the u.s. is still trying to weigh what they can do to move this
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cooperation forward with pakistan. host: the defense policy reporter a bloomberg news, thank you for being on the "washington journal." joining us now at the c-span table is stephanie sanok, a senior fellow at the center for strategic and international studies. she is here to continue the discussion regarding u.s. policy in afghanistan and iraq. tell us from your perspective what the message of defense secretary panetta posture to afghanistan and iraq was? guest: i think the very purpose was to set -- emphasized his support for the trip. his following an intensely popular secretary of defense who had the unwavering support of u.s. military. he wanted to visit the troops in afghanistan and iraq to convey his support for them as well. host: the message that he will continue the things that were started by secretary gates, or just to let them know that there
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is a new sheriff in town? guest: it is well said that there is a new sheriff in town, and that they are said in a path in both countries, in iraq to withdraw all debate unless the iraqi government makes a decision to come forward with a request for a volunteer force there, and in afghanistan, we are starting a withdrawal there. the secretary was there to reinforce those messages. host: we're talking about u.s. policy in afghanistan and iraq with stephanie sanok with the center for strategic and international studies. if you want to get involved in the conversation, here are the numbers. you can also send us messages electronically by e-mail and twitter.
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talk to us about the number one priority in afghanistan from the u.s. perspective, and also from the afghan perspective. guest: the administration has been unwavering in his dedication to the fact that the objectives in afghanistan is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al qaeda. many experts would say they do not need that many troops to do that. what we have been pursuing we have been pursuing some of the nation-build in perspective with other agencies weighed in to help. overall, the strategy appears to be al-qaida-related, but in reality i question whether that .s what we are pursuing host: our first call for stephanie said comes from reston, virginia.
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caller: i was calling because we were talking about the budget, and the cost of all of the spending cuts, and the military budget for 2008 and just iraq and afghanistan was $900 billion. that does not cover the supplementary spending that goes into the federal budget for the dupont -- defense department. i think it is ludicrous that some people would give away social security costs and benefits for social programs, but nobody talks about the defense department. it is ludicrous. nobody talks about cutting these programs. it is crazy. host: julie, in reston, virginia. stephanie sanok, talk about policy in iraq and afghanistan
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in terms of spending. guest: when the obama administration took over, they were talking about getting rid of the supplemental. they have seen that it is really difficult when you are ramping down. you still see fairly high levels of expenditure. in iraq, we are shifting from a contribution in terms of tax payer money, to a state department-heavy contribution. the same will be true in afghanistan host: sean, and our line for democrats out of lincoln, nebraska. caller: you put these segments together just right. the cost of our debt is the cost of our war. when you have deposits disappear
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off of the plane, that is why we are dealing with the debt ceiling. if the president can get us out of these wars, he has another four years, as far as i'm concerned. -- all that is right from a fiscally-responsible -- guest: that is right from the fiscally- responsible perspective, but as a nation, we all agree this has to be a strong consideration. it is -- there are lengthy, and it takes a while. host: next up is new york, new york, jeff, and our line for independence. caller: the situations differ. we have no idea where iraq is going to go when we pull out. afghanistan, historically, much
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like with the russians, and even at the end of world war two when we did the marshall plan to keep the communists out of europe, we see there is so much more to be done there. i do not proceed this president or the past president, or any party really to make this commitment to try to take that country out of the state that it is in. basically, we all see afghanistan as almost like it was two hundred years ago. it is really a lot of destabilized areas, still dependent upon drug money, and other arms trading. there is really not that type of financial infrastructure that can stand on its own. host: jeffrey, we will leave it there. stephanie sanok? guest: that is an excellent
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observation. afghanistan is fundamentally different with out -- without the same level of buy in from the people. you are right. that said, u.s. policy has been to help rebuild the nation. my question for the administration and congress is when do we know we are done with afghanistan? when is the nation built, and when can stand on its own? i have not heard in terms of assistance investment and a timeline. timeline. host: we have a tweet -- guest: that is an interesting observation. we have known for a while that osama bin laden has not been hiding in afghanistan.
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he was in pakistan, and that was the case. we went into afghanistan to round out the taliban and punish them for supporting osama bin laden. we did not know where he was. we thought he might be in pakistan. i kicked the point -- i take the point that al qaeda is struggling there are less than two dozen influential members. when do we know we have disrupted and dismantle the al- qaida? guest: how will we know? -- host: how will we know? guest: that is a fantastic question, and leon panetta did not define that. he did not define what particular al qaeda operatives or leaders we would have to take out.
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when it has to be dismantling them in al qaeda in the arabian peninsula? it is really fascinating that the defense secretary has left so many questions hanging out there. host: we're talking with stephanie's senate. our next call comes from chicago, illinois, bob, on our line for democrats. caller: george bush said about five or six years ago -- i think it is the truth, i would like to ask the young lady -- unemployment and employment has a lot to do with the war in iraq. my last quick point is that afghanistan -- people could come home from iraq, and
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afghanistan, and the debt ceiling could end. host: thank you. about if you're talking job creation in iraq and afghanistan, there have been a lot of efforts to create jobs. initially, it was to get people off of the battlefield. if you are a military-aged young man, or unemployed, no hopes for a job, you are prone for mischief, and that this shift was taken in the form of implants in explosive devices. giving them a paycheck was critical in this counter- insurgency strategy, to get them off the battlefield. it has the greatest effect of helping both the economy is in
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iraq and afghanistan, hopefully, soon. and your second point, and speaker john boehner crying, i will leave that to the political folks. guest: de insolence is considerable in iraq, and even when he has been living in iran, he is have a level of control over the sadarists. i think some of the structures the u.s. arm and has helped the iraqis put in place, whether it is the council of representatives, or their presidency construct with different regions and a somewhat autonomous north would head against sadar seeking
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control. he has alleged that if troops are not out in defense -- december 31, we will see an uptick in violence. host: stephanie sanok works on an international security projects, acquisition reforms, and export controls. she's also had experience working in the u.s. embassy in baghdad developing policy options for the u.s. government's efforts to support a self-reliant arrest, and was a professional staff member with professional staff member with the committee on armed services from 2005 through 2008, and directed the policy team from 2006 through to 27. she has a bachelor's degree of science in -- from cornell, and a master's degree from harvard.
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bill, your honor if you are on -- if you are on the "washington journal." caller: what i've heard is that as guests -- afghanistan's gdp is less than 2 but will billion dollars a year. will they be able to pay for all of their troops and police, and all of that with their gdp been so low? another thing is my grandson's father is there right now, and i am wondering, are all of his efforts in vain? are we setting up afghanistan to be and other debtor nation, like we are? host: bill, in tucson. guest: it is difficult to
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maintain the forces. if they had to be responsible for them today, they could not. it is very expensive. what is good about u.s. policy in afghanistan is they're helping to create industry that will support security forces and feedback on itself. if you talk to military folks in kabul, they will tell you they have been talking to boot makers, food service people -- industries that will support the security service, and can be used for other sectors of the population. what we are trying to do is create an economy that will not only support the security forces, but also other sectors, too. host: who does the u.s. government have working with the afghans to get this industry up and running? guest: there is an office
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within and the office of the within and the office of the secretary of defense. it is the u.s. government lead on this kind of interaction, but also have -- you have the agency for international development and the state department. they have an inter-agency team working on a long-term sustainability of the afghan economy, but it will take a very long time. host: is there similar apparatus for our iraq? guest: there is, but there differently focused. 53% comes from industry in iraq, walled 9% comes from farming. it is completely flipped in afghanistan. i will say a few of the developing countries worldwide, the successful ones -- i will say if you look at developing countries worldwide, the
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successful ones focus on agriculture and infrastructure. agriculture and infrastructure. host: what is the united states tried to encourage the afghan farmers to grow instead of poppy? guest: copy is easy to grow. the price you can get on the black market is substantial, and they are also receiving an incentive from the taliban to grow eight -- grow it to fund terrorism and insurgency. i will say that the u.s. government is trying to urge them. them. things like fruit and nuts. -- to things like fruit and nuts, and a long-term crops terror there are options. host: our next caller comes from akron, ohio.
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caller: good morning. thank you for the opportunity. i have a comment to make. host: go ahead, richard. caller: they did not build rome in a day, and did not burn it down in the day either. it will take time to get out of this. let's get down to the business of doing what is right for this country. any party who makes it known that their primary interest is to stop the president from making progress -- one-stop president from making progress you stop the country. i think we need to check ourselves, and we need to look at what we are doing, and take the rhetoric out, and get down to business this new business.
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-- business. i've been watching politics for years. guest: i think richard makes a good point about the partisan attitude in washington, d.c., right now. when the talk to republicans or democrats, they have the same vision, and that is to be a democratic, prosperous country, the kind of country we grew up dreaming about, the opportunities and give advantages that comes with that. the issue is how to get there, and there are fundamental differences in approaches, and you are seeing that today. host: the officials in afghanistan and iraq, when they watched our political interaction between the white house and the congress, why do they think about our foreign policy. them -- to them?
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guest: we are in these countries because of innovations. they did not invite as. they are looking at this as a sovereign perspective. what can we learn from this? they are learning a lot of lessons not to emulate from the political process. that said, if you look at iraq, they had an election in the spring of 2010, and did not seek their government until the fall. they still did not have a minister of defense or interior. that would not stand in the united states. there are good lessons iraq and afghanistan could learn. host: do they think they're process and their progress would be moving faster if the united states was not involved? guest: i did not think so. i think the folks in government right now are placed there right now are placed there because of the united states government.
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we supported a democratic process, or lease the democratic process that was appropriate. if you look at democracy worldwide, there is no when- size-fits all. a u.s. style-democracy is a proper for us. it is religious baby steps in afghanistan and iraq. -- it is really just baby steps in afghanistan and iraq. host: this tweet guest: what a great question. if you are looking at detroit, you're looking at a different level of investment -- investment. in afghanistan, we are trying to get them away from poppy to
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fruit trees, not trees, it is fundamentally different. i think there is a lot of room for growth and ways we can help for growth and ways we can help the afghanistan -- the afghans . host: we consider all comers -- continue our conversation with ron. caller: i think we are blaming the wrong person. it is not president obama's fault. fault. he inherited this. we should not be in iraq. i could see afghanistan. if the two and $9 a week that we were spending -- imagines -- 2 $1 million a week that we are spending -- a match and if that was given to the states. if we can spend nine years at two hundred million dollars a week, all we can afford to put that in our economy.
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guest: my comment on that statement would be that once we did commit to sending u.s. troops to iraq and afghanistan we owe it to them to support them in any way that we can. when you're talking about how much the wars are costing one it is in terms of assistance, or the support for our troops, it is important to separate the mission from what the operations are costing and trying to get folks back home. . host: next up is buford, county, south carolina. caller: thank you. thank you to the viewers who keep us informed. i am a small farmer. it is hard for me because of the
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economy and the jobs, and if it was not for my father, my grandfather, a world war two veteran, i would not know where i was -- would be for this military. military. our schools and our funding and this, and love, i do not really understand. host: let's move onto billy on our line for independents. caller: i want to follow-up on one statement as far as the american people not been willing to support a war is over there. it seems it we're going through history again. we support one side, and other major power supports another side, and it is constant turmoil. it never seems to say need help.
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we are basically bankrupt in our country. my grandmother is paying for it, and she could barely afford her medicine. basically, the whole statement basically, the whole statement comes down to -- if we are going to more or less higher ourselves how to control one side of the country, is there any way we should be seeking retribution? host: stephanie sanok, it is a common phrase you heard -- here used -- a friend of my friend is a friend, and a friend of my enemy is an enemy, but in these cases those alliances are constantly shifting. how does the new leon panetta pentagon deal with this
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differently than the dates pentagon? the guest: i think we have seen the first indication. secretary leon panetta went to iraq and afghanistan. he did not go to pakistan. i take that as a strong message. it is easy when you're in that region to attack on an extra couple of days for an important ally. i think that cross the minds of everyone who planned the trip. it was clearly a conscious decision not to go to pakistan. i think that is in part because when osama bin laden was killed on may 2 there was a list of things that we would ask the pakistan's to do, the pakistani to do, and i have not acted on any of them. this administration also put a
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hold on a $10 million in assistance. a great way to resolve that is sending the defense secretary to talk to folks about what is going on, but he did not. you are seeing already how differently the pentagon will treat allies in the region. "the in this morning's financial times" they had this headline -- guest: the withdrawal deadline is aggressive. they're talking about getting half of the troops out during the prime fighting season. they do not fight as much during the wintertime. we are starting to withdraw troops during a tumultuous situation. the fact that president karzai's half-brother was killed, leaves the leadership in a tumultuous situation. when you hear about the intense
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fight in afghanistan, a lot of it is happening in the south and east. this is another bad news story. host: for myers, florida, barbara, on our line for democrats. caller: what plans do we have for the soldiers when they are returning? there are no jobs, and there is a need for additional services, and i have not heard a plan for that. guest: that is a very good point. as i mentioned earlier, the price tag for in engaging in a war is not just eight today at a price tag. continues out into the future. part of that is what we hold our returning troops when they come back, and that is the most support we can give them and their families.
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a lot of them can use the gi bill for further education, but the questions that i raised our what about their health? we have heard a lot about disorders. that is adding to the price tag. host: tenn., john, on our line for independents. caller: i have a comment about the secretary of defense. -- the secretary of defense going to iraq. in protest, there was a rocket attack. the people do not want the military presence there. he was there to encourage the iraqi government to extend military presence, like he did in afghanistan, which prompted an increase of attacks against military bases there in protest
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of his visit. and, before i leave, i would like to make a comment about the financial terrorist attack on the united states economy. look to iceland for the way out. iceland is the only country that is billing itself all very quickly. guest: i have a comment about a rocket attack in the green zone. anytime a high-ranking u.s. official visits there are attacks. it is too easy to say it is because the iraqi people do not want it. it is because a certain kind of iraqi person does not want that .ignitary their parenre the green zone in baghdad has been hit with rocket attacks every day for the last little
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while, not just because secretary leon panetta was there. i avoid making a direct correlation. host: talk about your experience working in an embassy in baghdad, especially when folks come over. how much lead time you get before the helicopter lands in the green zone? gee, i am positive the ambassador -- far more lead time than someone like me, i would say they get a least a week. as an embassy staffer, i would not find data until a couple of days before hand. to go back to the rocket attacks, i started going to iraq in 2005. i would go on high-level visits for one day or two at the time, and we would always come under rocket attack. i was in iraq six or seven times
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in 2007 alone. i'm most very end december, 2008, in terms of -- with my eyes open in terms of what they meant in terms of danger. in 13 months, we saw a lot of rocket attacks, some of which hit the embassy compound. i just want to add that there are brave men and women that served in iraq and afghanistan, not just military folks, but civilians. host: is there any time frame with regard to the visits? if the defense secretary is there at noon, do we know that at 4:00, we will start getting rocket attacks? haphazard.it is they are classified until the trip is over. he did not know where the dignitary will be, so that if the itinerary leaks, and he
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would not want people to know that he will be at the embassy at 12, noon. host: our next call comes from indiana, with david, on our line for democrats. caller: i would like to start by saying that i think we should start pulling out of iraq and afghanistan. i do not think we should be there anymore. all we're doing is making ourselves look arrogant i agree with most of the things the man on the right is saying. as for the woman on the left, i do not like you. i think you stink. i think you suck. host: we will leave it there. last words on u.s. policy in afghanistan and iraq? guest: i think our troops have given their absolute best in both countries. we are on a path to leave
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afghanistan by 2014, as the president laid off. i would argue the bulk of that with a drawl occurring during the fighting season might be something they should reconsider. i would encourage the iraqi government that if they think they need troops to stay beyond december 31, those negotiations should start now. should start now. host: stephanie san ok, thank you. we want to apologize to you and all other colors and listeners. we try to provide an open forum for discussion, and sometimes folks get through, and they do not want to adhere to what is we are talking about. we appreciate the indulgence of those that do do, and we
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apologize for those who occasionally get through. we want to take you live now to we want to take you live now to the campus of george mason university law school in arlington, virginia, for the second half of today's ."shington journal picko host: we are all here to question newsmakers, and slitting -- including former governor tim kaine. we are at the arlington campus of george mason put the university school of law. we wanted for which it welcome the former chairman of the democratic national committee. you are a teacher yourself. guest: i teach in the fall and the spring. host: let's get to what washington is dealing with in terms of the debt limit.
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there have been serious negotiations. beyond the talking points of where the republicans and democrats are, what is going to happen? guest: there are three options. the one is the unthinkable -- there is not an agreement. that would be economically catastrophic. the second option is that we either reach a big deal, with a four trillion dollar package on the table -- we either reach a large deal, or we do a patch job. i think it is important we try to reach for a larger deal. host: but the republicans are saying no to that? guest: they are saying no publicly, but i hope they will do their duty. they say they care about the deficit. we ought to be trying to find a
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significant solution. the whole debate around as debt ceiling limitation vote is really an important one. a lay person's definition of it is that this is a vote about whether the united states will pay its current obligations. it is not a vote about issuing more debt in the future. it is about paying our current obligations. you all know about financial literacy. if you decide not pay your credit. credit. -- credit card bill, you will have consequences for the rest of your life. it is outrageous to me that leaders would potentially send a message that we are going to skip out on our bills. it will hurt us financially, and send the message is this ok to skip out on your bills. we pay our bills paid we are fiscally responsible.
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we should not be threatening to do this catastrophic, horrible thing. host: will get some calls in a moment, and also to questions from these high school seniors gathered from 35 different states. i want to s to about the personalities. mitch mcconnell has said he wants to make the president a one-term president, and said he cannot negotiate a bigger deal as long as barack obama is in the white house. how does somebody like mitch mcconnell sit down with barack obama? it goes both ways. how'd you get beyond that and work on an agreement? guest: you have to be willing to compromise. when i was governor of virginia, i had two republican house is my first two years.
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we disagree on some things, but we disagree today, and degrees tomorrow. when i heard mitch mcconnell say the number one goal was to make president obama a one-term president, my question is why is the goal might soon have america be strong in the world, or a better-educated populace. has the party come down to the number one goal of making sure president obama is a one-term president? that is a narrow understanding of what the role of leadership is, and i hope that people would set aside politics. you know what the deal is. democrats say we do not want to deal with the entitlement reforms. republicans say we will never agree to raise taxes on the top end. you know what the deal is. both sides left to give on their most cherished positions to find
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the path forward. if we think the deficit is important, both sides have to give. host: is the process broken? guest: it seems to be. the proposal the senator mitch mcconnell made last night was almost an admission that we cannot solve this in congress, so we will give the president some unilateral powers, with respect to unilateral raising, and cutting. we should not accept that. members of congress get elected. we ought to hold them accountable. i am always optimistic. even though it looks tough right now, people got sent to washington to do with job, and they should do it. host: we have some questions prepar. prepar. >> what are your predictions for
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the presidential elections? guest: i think president obama will be the nominee, and there will be the nominee, and there will not be serious primary competition. on the republican side, i am not that good of a handicapper. i thought that governor mitt romney was clearly going to be the nominee in 2008, and i was .rong terroris right now, it looks like he is in the strongest position, yet it looks like he has significant challenges within the nomination process, probably most significantly that his health- care plan became the basis of the national health care model the most of the republican primary electorates does not like. i think the field is wide open,
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and it will take time to sort out. host: when did you first hear about barack obama? guest: probably before the democratic convention in boston. i heard him running for senate pedal when he was a new senator, in 2005, he came to arlington, to do an event with me when i was campaigning for governor. we talked for about five minutes, and we realize we both went to harvard law school, where both civil rights lawyers, both spend formative time in the third world. he brought in indonesia, and i was a missionary in honduras. the thing that cemented our friendship is the bulk of our mothers are from el dorado, kan.. when we realized both of all mothers families were from that part of the world, it struck up
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a friendship. host: another question from one of the students here. >> i am patrick from nebraska. i was wondering, how the think social media has effected politics? guest: it has effected politics in so many different ways. i am not sure i am the best person to answer it. you are the experts. i talk to my staff and my own kids. if you are in politics, you have to assume that everything you say is on the record. somebody with a phone, 10 over here -- and over here and tweet what you say. what you say. i was teaching at a monday morning, and my students asked me if i was going to run for senate. jim webb announced he was not running for a second term.
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i told my students i was not ready to announce anything, but i was leaning to do it. they tweeted it , and it hit the wire announcements. it was an example of social media, and everything you say is on the record. that is something that is very powerful. it is also proven to be a superb technique to reinstate a grass- to politics. the obama campaign use grass- roots volunteers because social media could connect people and inform people. those are significant. host: can we turn the question to you? how often do you use social media, and what you use?
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>> i use facebook, twitter, flicker, almost every day. i have been using everything every day. host: do you ever read the newspaper? >> i breed newspapers. i am a editor. guest: i have a guy doing an internship with me. he is the editor of the college paper ended as all of mine. it has -- it is all online. we are seen dramatic changes to the way journalists cover politicians. host: we are on the campus of george mason university, just a few miles away from our nation's capital. we are joined by the former chair of the democratic national committee. he is running for the u.s.
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senate. he is facing a primary challenge. let's get to your phone calls. dana joins us on the democrats line. caller: with the debt talks, it goes back to the question of whether the republicans want to insure there is an educated populace. with the arion budget that was passed in the house, it would add $6 trillion to the deficit. they would have to increase the debt ceiling any way to go along with that budget. this is not a debate for nothing. how hard do you think it is for republicans to govern if they continue to sign a number of pledges that pigeonhole them into certain positions, which into certain positions, which means there are held with those
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positions, instead of working to a purpose? host: thank you. guest: there is a pledge, probably the most common or popular signed, most of the republicans, but some republicans -- democrats have as well, but an individual has promoted a pledge did you would sign as a candidate they you would never agree to raise taxes under any circumstances. if you need to for national defense, if there is a war, and need more money -- thank goodness these pledges were not in place when america needed to save the world and world war ii, or we would not be able to do it. many sign these pledges. many sign these pledges. . take one aloath
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you promote and protect the constitution of the united states. that is the pledge you should take. you should not take other pledges and put them ahead of your oath of office. the caller's question is right. tis peoples hands, and that is turning out to be a significant obstacle. there is no way to solve the budget deficit without making significant cuts. i made billions of dollars of cuts. i also know that you cannot solve the deficit just with kuatz. he left to find new revenues, largely through lead in the bush tax cuts expired, and you also have to make investments in education and transportation to grow the economy. the best way to get out of the deficit is to have a growing economy.
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host: we have a call from lowest in richmond, virginia. caller: i'm kind of figure out why making a deal would be a good thing. i would like to see the united states cut spending pad making a deal to raise the debt ceiling is taking them more debt, and just demonstrates state you do not have any fiscal responsibility, or any ability to slow spending. i am just trying to figure out this is a good thing. guest: making a deal is a good thing because the deal includes cuts in spending. there two deals that and put on the table by the white house. vice president joe biden was leading bipartisan negotiations
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said that led to a package of two dollars trillion. the republicans chose to walk away from the table. the president has put a deal on the table that is $4 trillion of deficit reduction, which overwhelmingly expense cuts, but some new revenues, and the republicans have said they will not do that either. let's make a deal. the second reason we ought to be making a deal is that raising the debt ceiling limitation is not about issuing new debt, which is about whether america honors existing obligations. america is not a dead beat nation. we have never walked away from our obligations, just like i would never encourage students to walk away from bills. if you get this to the loan, and you decide to walk away from that, good luck getting a house 10 years later. we should not walk away from
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obligations, and that is why the debt ceiling needs to be raised. >> my name is jasmine, and i'm from new rochelle, new york. what are some of the goals you hope to accomplish if you win the election? guest: i had served in office s sixth -- 416 and a half years. when i ran for governor, i was pretty sure it was my last race. when the president asked me to serve as the head of the democratic national committee, i said yes. jim webb has been a wonderful son of syrian and virginia, and he surprised everyone -- wonderful senator in virginia, and he surprised everyone when he said he was not going to run past one term. i realize that we just got some
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i realize that we just got some very tough, challenges in america to maintain and the dynamic, competitive retired the we have been known for. having served as an american -- as a governor, i think i have the ability to do the job what i do not mind making a hard decision. decision. i had to think about it for a month, by about mid-march, i was said in my mind. i hope to accomplish it pretty simple thing -- my campaign theme is america has challenges, virginia has solutions. i think the virginia story is an interesting one. we're a low-income, low- education state in the 1950's. we are high-income, higher- education now. no state has moved further than virginia has in this time. as we are wrestling at the national level about what to do with the economy, let's learn
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from the virginia lesson. we did it largest to educational investments. we to fiscal responsibility right in virginia. contrary to the debate and the posturing, i had to make billions of dollars in cuts, but i did not shred the safety net, nor jeopardize our economy. where were the most business- friendly state what was governor. i did not find ways to cut by threatening to shut down government or threatening not to pay debts. we just make hard decisions. on the civility of all politics, we still listen to each other rather than just try to talk louder than each other. we have a diverse and dynamic, the loss, but we managed to make it work. i want to take virginia lessons to washington because i think that could be part of an effort to get washington more productive.
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host: that diversity includes a lot of poverty. how'd you deal with that? guest: that is a real >> -- challenge. we call ourselves a commonwealth along with massachusetts, kentucky, pennsylvania. by calling ourselves the commonwealth, we are trying to convey the notion that we are in this together. the well that we hold we hold in common. there are these disparities. there are these disparities. the northern virginia economy is strong. the former tobacco-producing parts of the state have some different challenges. so, one of the biggest challenges is how to find opportunity that will be opportunities all of virginia can feel. that is a very tough job for a governor. we were able to have an unemployment rate that was significantly less than national
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averages. we were able to do some important economic development projects, and find some good prospects. there is no doubt the in rural virginia and some central cities the prosperity is not shared. we have work to do. host: father-in-law, and son-in- law false serving as governor of the same state? there would be two. my father-in-law, and the other one was thomas jefferson. he was the second governor of virginia. his son in law was the governor. we are the two pairs. i'm not sure about other states, but that is the virginia record. host: so your wife grew up in
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the governor's mansion, and live there what your governor. guest: i will tell you a funny story. the day we were inaugurated, and i was inaugurated in williamsburg, the first governor to be inaugurated since jefferson in williamsburg. we came to the governor's mansion the day after, and we walked in and around midnight, and everybody who works in the house this said to me welcome home, and is said to my wife, welcome back home. it was a cool experience for her and for my kids. they heard the stories about what like -- life was like for their mom. the kids had a cool experience. host:-owns just -- joins us. caller: there is no compromise
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[unintelligible] guest: right now, the debt ceiling limitation has to be voted on by congress, but there was a proposal floated last night by senator mitch mcconnell saying we are not point to be able to agree, so we may give the president's unilateral ability to raise the debt ceiling and due expense cuts. i think that is a poor substitute for congress actually making a decision and showing they have the backbone to make decisions. but, as the president is given that authority, he will use it. as governor of virginia, most governors have similar authority. i have the authority to make unilateral cuts in the budget is revenues were short path, and i had to use that authority to make billions of dollars of cuts that my legislature then approved. the president may end up with this authority if congress decides they cannot make their
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own decisions, but they should make decisions, and not handed over to the president. his choice question from one of the students here. -- host:, a question from one of the students. >> what was the hardest decision you have to make while in office? guest: caitlin, there were a lot of tough ones. i started with my own salary, and i was still making cuts when i was going out of office three and a half years later. for me, i will tell you what the hardest decisions were. i do not believe in the death penalty. i think the death penalty is wrong, but i had to uphold the law, and a lot is that the death penalty is inappropriate punishment is a jury determines it is appropriate. when i ran for office i was attacked and i said to virginia
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voters that my religion teaches the death penalty is wrong. i will uphold my oath of office. so, as governor, there would often be executions scheduled, and folks was c clement -- seek clemency. in one instance, i did it grants life in prison. those are always difficult. i was searched for the record and determine whether somebody had a claim of innocence or another reason to commute, but my own personal view was less important than the old that i took. that -- oaths that i took. host: why did you decide to come here to washington, caitlin, what did you learn, and what are your career goals? >> i came because i want to learn more about journalism.
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i've learned social media is important. by now tweet all the time. as a good way to keep up with stuff. my goals for the future -- i want to be in journalism, especially print, unfortunately it is a dying art. host: you have been here since mid-week. what has intrigued or impress you the most? >> the dedication of all of the students here. there are so many different backgrounds, and they are all striving for success. the talent in this room is amazing. guest: can i ask where you get most of your news -- print, electronic, television, radio, or on line? raise your hand if. most of your news by print?
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ok. tv or radio? how about on line? in the sec online is a narrow win. -- it looks like online is a narrow win. host: and how many of you watched c-span? i'm just kidding. how many of you intend to go to college? guest: that is impressive. caller: good morning. and do you like peas? guest: that is like eating your vegetables. yet to make a decision. -- you have to make a decision. there are a lot of political pressures that make people want to avoid making hard decisions. you can criticize politicians,
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but life is not different. in your personal life you will be tempted to take an easier route. i am human. i know that. i have been there. i've sometimes chosen the easier route. you can never avoid your problems or challenges. they will stay there, and they will get bigger and bigger, whether it is in your personal life were politically until you deal with them. we have to be willing to make hard decisions. the american public understands that. a lot of politicians do not make hard decisions because they think the electorate will punish them. they understand this if you explained. we of hard decisions to make, here is what we need to do, and the majority? it. host: you talk about -- majority gets it. host: you talk about virginia solutions.
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bill clinton, george bush, and barack obama talked about bringing the country together. how can tim kaine change with others have been unable to do? guest: i would not be nice enough to think that one person wanting to work together could make a dramatic change. the only way change happens is that people come in wanting to make change. i was the mayor of a diverse city, but i were to bring people together. i was the governor of a very diverse state. even though i did not thing to make change. we were the best managed state. the best one to raise a child. i would come into the senate with the goal of working together. i would build relationships as i have in the past. i know that other senators want to do that as well. >> -- host: would you work with mitch mcconnell?
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guest: absolutely. there is the circle of things that democrats believe. there is the circle of things that republicans believe. why not spend our time in the intersections on the things where we agree? there are always areas where you can make progress, where the topic really agrees. >> in relation to the deficit, you think that cutting down on entitlement programs as social security is the right move, or should we be cutting other places? guest: i think that we have to cut everywhere. we have to find cuts. we have to find tax revenues. we have to invest. on the side of cuts, you have to look at everything and make the cuts everywhere. that would be defense, it would be non-defense discretionary spending. let me give you an example. medicare.
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social security is less of a challenge with respect to the deficit. it is really kind of financed separately. there are long-term finance problems with sovereignty -- solvency for social security. let me give you an example. in the early 2000's, congress passes medicare part b to help seniors with prescription drug costs. but they may clerical mistake in passing this. they said that the u.s., in negotiating for purchase, cannot negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies. they have to accept the price. medicare part b coverage for 47 million americans. everyone else gets to negotiate based on volume. why should the taxpayers not be able to negotiate for a discount
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by purchasing 47 million eligible medicare seniors? you would save costs for seniors. you would save costs to the federal budget. that would be an example of cost reduction in medicare. you could save money and it would not compromise on the program. >> fairfax, -- host: we are at the arlington campus including the school of law and our conversation with former governor. our next call comes from -- with former governor tim kaine. our next call comes from gary. caller: hello? yes. i have read many articles about finding lower budgets. what i was wondering -- host: we apologize for that. who is next? please go ahead. caller: earlier in the program
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you stated that if republicans cared about the deficit, they should commit to a duty. what kinds of suggestions, what are you looking for in terms of republicans compromising about this deficit? guest: this is not republicans against democrats, this is doing the right thing for the country. the president proposed a commission on the deficit and republicans voted it down. it was called the simpson bowls edition. republican members of that commission largely voted against the recommendations of the commission. recently there has been a government shutdown of the republican side. threats of non-payment of debt obligations. recently, in the middle of bipartisan negotiations being led by the vice-president, the house leader, eric cantor,
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walked out, saying that they would not negotiate any more periods -- anymore. there should be plans on the table right now, essentially a nearly $2 trillion deficit reduction plan. the vice-president and the others were working on it before the republicans walked out. you could do that. or the president said -- let's really do this, $4 trillion in cuts, but also revenues, cutting subsidies to companies that do not need them. if you are serious, let's take advantage of this moment. mitch mcconnell said they would not make a deal with this president. you have got to put the country first over politics. the president is the president. he is the commander-in-chief. he has the power and respect the office confers upon them. to say that we will not make a
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deal while this guy is in the white house, it is putting politics ahead of the nation. we can do this and the congress should not simply be saying -- they should be accountable for making the decision. host: eric cantor? guest of someone i have known for a long time. his -- guest: summers i have known for a long time. we know each other and -- someone i have known for a long time. we know each other. i am not privy to everything going on in the house. i would like to see more of a publicly. the main thing he has done in this debate -- in this debate is walk away from the negotiating table. this notion of defaulting, not paying our fiscal obligations, is outrageous. we pay our bills.
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we on responsibilities the veterans. i want to see him and others, of all parties, being willing to compromise and find a solution. host: 150 students applying for the chance to come to washington, d.c., for the national media conference, we are coming to you from the campus of george mason university. our next call comes from sarah, now julias, tennessee. caller: yes, i wanted to make a comment about senator mitch .cconnell's statement yesterday and the proposals that the republicans have put together. in my opinion, that favors all of a hedge fund makers. the bankers. the corporations. it does not support or helping
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what is left. -- it does not support or help what is left of middle-class america. i think that the republicans need to, as mr. kaine said, they need to come to the table with a deal and not just, in my opinion, worry about their back pockets. host: thank you. guest: well, i do not know. it is more of a comment that a question. the president has said this. you do not reach an agreement. politics is different from anything else you are involved in. you work against him organizations. what you know is that the only way to get things done in a group is that you cannot always have it done 100% your way. you will have to compromise in any setting. my wife has a different idea. my kids have a different idea.
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life is about, if you are in a groove, life is about trying to find a common ground. it is really important that the democrats have signaled a willingness of the president. we will entertain entitlement reform. cuts in entitlement programs. but you have to find revenue especially from closing loopholes that were unnecessarily letting the bush tax cuts expire at the top end. if you compromise, we will have a deal. virginia is the only state that will allow the governor to serve more than one term. it is a jeffersonian idea. virginia is the only state where the governor can only serve for one term. you can run non-consecutive league, but only one has done that. -- non-consecutively, but only one has done that. the idea is that if you only can
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serve for one term, you will be a statesman worried only about doing the right thing. every one that serves as governor realizes that her in a big state, 7.5 million people, it is a different thing is that it was when jefferson and others came up with the notion. it hurts your ability to go after long-term goals. most governors wind up trying to change the pathway for their successor. the legislature really likes long-term -- one term governors. that is a bipartisan thing. some of us want to have a few cracks added. there is no likelihood that that will change anytime soon in virginia. host: student question. >> i was wondering how you reconcile the reality of the debt ceiling and the deficit with your own statements that the budget system is broken with your other statement steps the
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your other statement steps the united states is a fiscally responsible nation. guest: great question. we have problems right now, but i am not a pessimist about any problems that i have -- that we have. are there examples of the system being broken? sure there are. look at the abandoned negotiations. we have never defaulted on our obligations. obligations. the american public expects a resolution. when you ran for the job, you look at ways to keep the nation in a fiscally sound way and people were willing to make a tough decision to solve this. it is not as hard as it seems. electioneering makes it hard.
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but knowing what the right thing to do is, that is not that hard. host: independent line, good morning. caller: i actually have a different question for you. what are your feelings on the space shuttle program ending. and what are your [unintelligible] guest: what? caller: the heavy lift system? guest: is important for someone to say that they do not know enough to give a good answer. on the second half of your question, i do not know enough about the proposal for the heavy lift systems. in florida, those of you from there know that the space industry is a huge part of the atlantic coast economy. in virginia we have a massive presence in langley and we have
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private rockets in the eastern shore that are not aware of the heavy lift system. with respect to the shuttle, it is sad in some way. it is a casualty or a national consequence. we need to figure out the degree to which additional space exploration with advance important economic goals for the country. if we can make that case for the if we can make that case for the country, defense or economic needs for the nation.
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>> my question was, trying to solve the deficit, one of the things that obama was pushing for was more education in the field of science. my question is, do you think that the government will try to crush one of those programs? will they try to cut the socialists -- social sciences and push them to the wayside? or do you think that that would be at the bottom of the list of things to do. guest: the danger of focusing on the deficit is that you can cut things that are necessary for economic growth. if you cut too deeply, that would be a mistake. 20 years ago we were number one in the world of those that had higher education degrees. qualified technical terms. you do not have to have a college degree to have a great job. we were number one in the world 20 years ago.
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we are no. 10 right now. we are no. 10 right now. we will be 30 in the world if we do not do something differently. president obama did a significant expansion of the student loan program so that more students could afford to go to qualified programs. we should not be cutting back on those programs. we need to return to no. 1 in the world. i am worried about you cannot take an indiscriminate attitude when it comes to deficits, educational investments are part of what is going to return us to no. 1 in the world. incentivizing science, technology, engineering can we add -- engineering. can we add incentives to that? incentivizing nursing. incentivizing it does not mean
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you are abandoning other kinds of spending. of spending. host: do you find a to have a balanced curriculum in your coast load -- course load? >> definitely. we definitely have to take two -- is that the balance. there is nothing that is bringing more towards science. guest: how many of you take career or vocational classes in your high schools? i encourage you to do this. for a generation america said that vocational education is second class. but there is a huge renaissance in career, technical, and vocational education. an awful lot of students, even the ones that say they know they're going to college, that is really important. there are budget proposals on the table that i disagree with.
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they are making some proposals that would cut career technical locations -- locations where you can mix those in in and it will be good for you -- vocations where you can mix those in and it will be good for you. >> the partisan political atmosphere has many independents and moderate voters feeling very frustrated with their politicians. how do you see yourself as a campaigner and other politicians adhering to a more extreme primary base without completely alienated important and moderate public option -- alienating moderate public? guest: i am focused on winning the general election. i was in the same position i ran for governor. virginia is probably like
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pennsylvania and other states as well. if you win the independent votes, you win. virginia, 30% republican, 40% of the virginians are independent. we do not even register for parties in virginia on either side it will often split a ticket and go either way. they have to appeal to independents. independents. one thing that is frustrating as this. i do not know how we will get solved, but it is a weird aspect of american politics. it is very hard for an independent to get elected to congress. where they will let the president. in terms of getting on the ballot, the largest group of the voters do not see people in congress would then i after their name. i would predict in 20 years that that may start to change. what they do now, they look at either candidate on either side
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to is the person after election day will be able to be the most practical and solve problems that anyone. independent voters are looking for that after elections. for that after elections. host out how much will your campaign cost? -- host: how much will your camping cost? what does it tell you about politics? ops guest: i think that the race will change in terms of what i have to raise and what other berets in terms of money to, but what i have to raise is between $15,000,000.19999999 dollars and it might be one of the more expensive senate races in the united states because -- $50 million and $20 million. it might be one of the more expensive senate races in the united states. it will be an expensive race. i do not have money the deck and put into a campaign. some people can self-finance. i cannot. you have to spend a lot of time doing that i wish that there avenues for public
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financing so that public servants could spend less money -- less time raising money and more time solving problems. host: tim kaine, senate candidate here in the state of virginia. these high school seniors are spending one week in washington as part of the media in journalism conference. [applause] host: tucker carlson is going to join us in a few minutes. in terms of the george mason university arlington campus, first an update from c-span radio. >> 20 minutes past the hour. an update from the united kingdom. david cameron earlier today in the house of commons said that parts of the media and police are involved in a firestorm over the ongoing phone hacking scandal. he says that anyone who has committed to the census --
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committed these offenses must be prosecuted. he has said that he will look into whether or not 9/11 victims were targeted in these phone hacking scandals. they say it raises serious questions about whether news corp. has broken united states law. he encourages the appropriate agencies to investigate to make sure that americans have not had their privacy violated. stock futures are rising this morning after an encouraging report on chinese growth. data says that the chinese economy is growing at a rate of 5.9%. in the states, ben bernanke is going to testify before congress. he is expected to encourage lawmakers to raise the u.s. debt limit before the august 2 deadline. ahead of the bell, bell futures are up 33. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio.
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>> this is the great hall at the library of congress. the largest library in the world. if he were to be one book for a day in this library, how long would it take you? you will find lots of answers about this unique library in our original documentary, the library of congress. we will to were the iconic jefferson building, including the great hall -- tour the iconic jefferson room, including the great hall and the original thomas jefferson library. presidential papers from george washington to calvin coolidge. learn how they are using technology to discover hidden secrets in their collection and reserve holdings for future generations. join us for the library of congress this monday night on c- span. to read every book in this library, one per day, it would take over 60,000 years. >> this weekend on both tv, c-
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span to comment upon -- c-span 2, "richard white" in gauging the transcontinental railroad. by anne eisenhower, 1956, a look at the canal crisis. eisenhower faces a change in the balance of cold war power. look for the complete schedule led a tv -- fop's schedule at booktv.org. -- schedule at booktv.org. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we are back live at the arlington campus. 150 students are gathered here representing 35 states and guam. high school seniors, part of the national journalism media conference. tucker carlson is with us.
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let's talk about the harsh headlines from your web site overnight. guest: as far as i understand it, it is a incredibly complex proposal that the senate minority leader has put forward -- majority leader has put forward. they have said that they will not stand for defaults. they have said that this is their breaking point. that is pretty close to giving up. host: you said that mitch mcconnell is not leading. guest: he is leading, but entering a negotiation by telling the person he is negotiating with the point at which he will concede. if we were in a store, you were the merchants, i say i will pay up to this amount, what would you charge me? that amount. you would know, of course, my pivot point. it seems to me that that is
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exactly what is happened. republicans, i think, both sides have said at the outset that we cannot the fall. what ever happens, we cannot the fault. -- at the outset that we cannot be faulted. what ever happens, we can not the fault -- what ever happens, we cannot default. host: president reagan raised taxes on 11 separate occasions. guest: correct. really, it is a question -- each case is different. case is different. it is a question of magnitude. not all taxes are the same. certain taxes clearly make it difficult for employers to hire people. they in fact -- they affect employment rates. they are pernicious. if they have very little effect on the economy. it really depends. i am not a believer on taking a fundamental position on taxes.
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however, taxes are pretty high, actually. there is a lot of evidence in the aggregate that when you the aggregate that when you force people to spend more of their income on taxes, that you depress the economy. host: in "the washington post" today made the lead the gop decision for governor harry running for president. is the fields that? is he going to run? guest: i do not know if he is going to jump in the race. my understanding as of last week when i spoke to someone involved in this effort, it is up in the air. it is a question of fund-raising and mother of the things. if you look at a fund-raising totals for the fund-raising candidates overall, 45 million total, that is an extraordinarily low number relative to the president's number announced today. a very high number.
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why are republicans not raising more money? if they are the party of rich people, if they are -- which they are not, by the way, but they still have this reputation. why are they not raising money? the answer seems to be pretty obvious. republican primary offers -- voters are dissatisfied. there is a lot of pressure to expand the field. i think you will see other candidates. host:, and your other writings, "in ventures in cable news." guest: i did not write the title. i had a much more obscure title that i thought was very clever that i have forgotten now. it was overruled by a publisher, who put that under the title on there. but it was a book about the cable news business. host: what did you learn firsthand? guest: i went from print, writing in magazines for 10
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years. i went into television and posted a bunch of shows for 10 years. which makes me pretty old at this point. i learned that there is a very different relationship between television and print. they are very different. they each other on qualities. i would say television is more exciting. you can destroy your entire career in seconds in front of other people, which is kind of a thrill. knowing that she could really screwed up. print offers you very few opportunities to destroy yourself. but television offers less in death. in prince you may talk to someone for months, you know a lot about them and you do not get those opportunities in television. they are all interesting jobs. host of these students are interested in journalism. -- host: these students are
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interested in journalism. what would you tell them? guest: nothing they do not already know. the business is being transformed by technology. this is not a high point in journalism, as you may have read. american journalism is fairly boring, self righteous, an uptight. people do not read newspapers because they are not that interesting, actually. but that will change. it is clear that most print journalism is already on line and it will already be on line before too long. it would seem to have a lot of irresponsible news organizations printing untrue things. a lot of those establishments will go out of business. you will have a new establishment thriving mine. i guess that the bottom line is that there is clearly approved tourgh in the hit -- trough in the history of journalism.
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host: i have to rescue about rupert mart -- louvre murdoch and fox news -- and the news for organization. you weren't even on fox news this morning. will this have any impact on fox news in the u.s.? s tell fox news is a huge and vital part, -- guest: fox news is a huge and vital part of news corp. fox is very successful in my view. fox is fine as far as i know. fox has not been implicated, nor will it be, as far as i know. the scandal unfolding in great britain right now is interesting. it is upsetting to the extent that people had their personal voice mails listened to end in some cases the leaded. that is over the top. on the other hand, i have to say that a lot of the outrage seems politically motivated.
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virtually everyone in the press is liberal and they hate him because he is conservative. he is also resented for taking over a lot of companies. i would say that the violations of privacy that apparently took place, as a libertarian i am upset by that, pale in comparison to the ones that take place every day conducted by the u.s. government. who can look into your e-mail, telephone conversations, checking accounts, and no one says anything about it because it is done under the federal rubric of the war on terror. the rest of us sit by and allow it. we should not. if you are offended by what happens in great britain, you ought to be every bit or more offended by your government, which you are paying for, against your will in some cases, is doing the same thing.
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host: cnn, msnbc, saying that fox is ignoring this story. guest: [laughter] of course they are. they love it. "the new york times" is going wall-to-wall. this is like the new 9/114 "the new york times." i think it is a great newspaper. it is very left wing. but they are not good at hiding their agenda sometimes. they are just going hard on this story and gleefully so. they do not like rupert murdoch. they do not like his politics. they do not like the politics at fox. the editor said -- of course they are reveling in it. as is their right, by the way. i understand that. when your enemy is in trouble, pals. host: let's go for some questions. >> i was wondering if you believe that coverage by the
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media is more constructive or destructive when it comes to covering political decisions in campaigns. host: your opinion? >> i think that media influences the public's opinion and the public is not always properly informed and it may be destructive in a way. guest: it is a very complicated in a way, and it may be a long answer. i will say a couple of things. almost all of the information that we receive about the world is filtered through the press. there is a sensor there. the preconceived notions and flaws of people gathering the news. i would say the bad things are news. good things are not. we have all of these calls from outraged readers -- why is there all of this depressing stuff on page one? my editor told me once to tell
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them that when airplanes lane save what -- when airplanes laden -- when airplanes land safely, we do not print it. by the way, i am not defending the press. lots of reporters are dumb and lazy. in a few places, drunk. host: don, lazy, biased, drunk. guest: i would take drunk, and i am not endorsing of all, i would take drunk over lazy and dumb any day. i would say that if you want to be informed about what is happening in the world, a particularly in america, it is not so hard. c-span has that digital online archive that goes back to 1979? host: 1987. guest: you can watch anything
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that happened in the house or senate chambers right there on your screen. there are sources of information that were unimaginable 20 years ago when i was at your stage in life. uninformed? uninformed? it seems to me that if people do not know what is going on -- going on in american politics, it is 100% their fault. if you do not know what your voting for, please do not vote. there are all kinds of issues on which i do not vote. i covered politics for a living, but i do not vote on things i do not know about. there is this feeling that everyone has a civic duty to vote, that if you do not vote, you cannot complain. which is a lie, by the way. go ahead and complain.
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as a jury member in the capital jury case, i cannot leave in the middle of it and ask someone else could take my place. that would be irresponsible. it should be the same attitude you take with voting. if you do not want to pay for it, inform yourself and come back. if you do not want to do that, do not vote. host: thank you for the plug for c-span.org. ronald, next on the democratic line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i wanted to talk about the gop's stance on this debt ceiling. i think that the president should call their bluff. this is the obama reagan moment. when reagan said no to the kremlin, that is when he became a force to be reckoned with with the congress. this is obama's moment.
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he should tell republicans that if you want to not raise the debt ceilings, you want to thank wall street and take away the worth of the money, corporations, and banks, who had been worrying, making treasury bonds and worth of the same as junk, so be it. i would say that he should insist that they do not raise the debt ceiling and say that this is who you want representing you. you deserve each other. this is something that the gop has been playing with for three years now. saying no to anything obama. and i think it should stop. i think this is the time to make a stand. host: is this an air traffic controller moment? guest: it is hard to see exactly what the president would say. nobody is in favor, very few people with power in this country are in favor of leaving the debt ceiling where it is.
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the caller's point about big business, which over -- overwhelmingly supported obama in the last election, there was a letter in "the new york times" this morning from business interests, a broad variety, many center-right conservative business interests, beseeching every member of congress, what ever you do, raise the debt ceiling. business is in favor of raising the debt ceiling. the only people that i know that are not in favor of raising the debt ceiling are serious principle conservatives. i am not saying they are right, but as a factual matter all the people who actually control the country are agreed on that one question, we must raise the debt ceiling. host: we are coming to you from the arlington campus. students from 35 different states. high school seniors. studying the media. please go ahead.
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>> what do you believe will happen when it comes to the debt ceiling debate them of what influence will lead abdon world economic powers? guest: i have a singularly bad track record of predicting events before they happen. i thought hillary clinton would be the democratic nominee, etc., etc. i would not listen to anything i say when it comes to predicting my guess would be is that the debt ceiling will be raised, the democratic controlled senate and the president promised at some point promised to think about cutting spending in some way, but that those promises are far in the future. that in the short term, business is happy and foreign creditors are happy. in the long term the problem is very simple, we are spending more than we bring in.
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we have these unfunded liabilities in the form of future entitlements payouts for medicare, medicaid, and social security that we cannot pay for. but country is bankrupt. foreign investors are not stupid. why would you invest in a company that has no hopes of balancing its budget? in the long run, it is over as far as i am concerned. host: mary, georgia, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to ask a question about the social security fund. why have not heard much about it. the government owes a social security 3.5 trillion dollars.
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i think that the trust fund is the largest lender. the largest lender. i just wonder why social security is such a form in the balance sheet. on that $2.50 trillion [unintelligible] guest: that is a great question. that is money that is supposedly sitting safe in this trust fund. i discovered is an enormously misleading import. but it is being spent by congress, as you pointed out. the truth, as far as i understand it, is that social security is not such a
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complicated problem, in fact. there are only so many variables in that entitlement. i could probably tweak them i could probably tweak them sufficient the gq men die could probably tweak them sufficiently for the next level -- you and i could probably tweak them sufficiently for the next couple of decades. every economist and i know that has studied this question reaches the same conclusion, medicaid and medicare, the singer appearing -- the single largest drivers of that by far, there's nothing to do other than radically scale back payouts. host: why is that not on the table? guest: you know this better than i do, the research on the table shows it is an enormously popular program. even people about republican like medicare.
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their parents benefited from. they like medicare. that is why it was used. it is under strain. it is so popular. it is very easy to cut programs that you and i do not benefit from. come on, what you know and love. who benefits from medicare? everybody. that is the problem with it. it is so enormous popular. and yet it is unsustainable. and that is not one man's opinion. that is a national certainty. at some point we will have to go. we will deal with that by setting of death panels. everyone hates that phrase, but at some point if it is maintain the the federal government have to decide who gets care at the end of life and who does not. there is no way around that. host: your first job in journalism?
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guest: policy magazine, quarterly. upon i was there for one year and a half. i wrote a lot of stories on alexander hamilton's fiscal policy and other pretty high toned topics, none of which i understood very well. i wrote about crime. they kind of let me do what i wanted. host: the mission? what is it? guest: to produce interesting, newsworthy stories. we have no agenda or plans to supplant or replace some of the news organizations that we see currently dying. our day to day goal is really simple. what is interesting? what is on known that we can bring to life?
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the only paper that i get at home every morning is open quote the new york post." some people hate it. -- every morning is "the new york post." id is the most entertaining newspaper printed in the united states. completely over the top. they cover the worst crimes, the worst religious -- any kind of crime, they are on it. people bought them for that. but i read it. i love it. you know what? they do not assume you are going to read it. they know you are busy. it literally reaches out and grabs you by the throat and pulls you into its pages and holds it there until you are sated with filthy dwarf crime news. [laughter] host: we are talking with tucker carlson. with students from 35 different states here in washington, d.c., studying journalism for one
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week. >> the during the question answers session in 2004 you asserted that you hate smoking bans and seat belt laws. do you still hold these views? how do you justify being against laws for american health and can possibly raise revenue through ticketing? guest: how did you research that? >> the internet. guest: this is why i despise the internet. [laughter] opinions flowed around forever, accessible to high school students from pennsylvania. the short answer is yes. i hold those views. i do not smoke cigarettes. and i tried to wear my seat belt. i encourage my children to wear seat belts and i would not allow them to smoke cigarettes.
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however, i think that the federal government has no place trying to protect adults from their own behavior. cigarette smoking, while bad, gross, all of that outrage, to all of the nefarious stuff that occurs -- beer drinking, which everyone does -- the majority of murders are committed by drug people, but no one mentions that. it is not the government's place to tell you that you cannot heard yourself. if you do not have the right to degrade yourself, what rights do you have, exactly? what control over your life do you have? obviously you should wear your seat belt. what if you do not want to? the government is saying protect yourself or we will kill you. do you recognize the irony in that? who pays for it?
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if you do not smoke and people are smoking, should -- host: should do not have the right to be in a snow-free environment? guest: i do not want people blowing smoke at the twilight eat. actually, i do not care. but a lot of people do not like that. my wife, for instance, does not care for it. so, you would go to a restaurant that caters to your desires. do you have the right to have a really good meal at every restaurant? what if it is not a good restaurant? actually, the market and free will respond fairly well to human desires. if most people do not like smoking, and you probably all hated, right? people in non-smoking restaurants will get rich and people in smoking restaurants will go out of business.
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there needs to be a place for minority groups in this country. even for smokers, we all eight because they are evil. but there should be a place for them to go. if there is not a place for unpopular people, it is not really a country that protect minority rights, is it? guest: republican line, michigan. caller: good morning to everyone in students there. i am probably more nervous than they are. my comment is that i think we should all be aware of the alternative news media, which is where we get most of the truthful information. my question to tucker carlson is -- the back and forth between the republicans and democrats and how it seems republicans are getting a bad rap and how clinton gets credit for balancing the budget, everyone
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always neglects the fact that it was the republican congress and senate that shut down the government for four days during the clinton new administration. and in that process they were able to balance the budget. but it was because of the republicans holding ground, withholding welfare and all of this. host: thank you, dorothy. guest: i love your name. one of my favorite children is named dorothy. i am always glad to meet other dorothy's. i think is -- it is fundamentally right. political wages are defined by the president. we do not think of the years of 1932 through 1945 as the democratic congress era, we think of it as the roosevelt
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era. that is true for every president. he receives the blame. he receives the credit. that is the way that it is. it is also true that dividing government is usually pretty good for the president. the pressure from the opposition party tends to kind of save you from your own enthusiasms. americans are fundamentally kind of center-right, moderate. they do not like a lot of change. they want incremental improvement. when you have the other side saying no, do not go there, it pushes the debt limit, good that in the end. host: how many of you are optimistic about your future and feel that your generation will be more successful than your parents? how many of you feel that your generation will be less successful? interesting. what does that tell you?
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guest: i am amazed. you are much more optimistic about your chances that other people are. that is good. i mean that with sincerity. people who believe they will succeed, tend to succeed. people that think it will fail -- if you think you are a loser, you will be. good for you. charging your life with optimism and hopeful this. host: what was your senior year in high school? guest: 1987. we had just gotten a electricity. [laughter] i was actually fairly politically involved. my views are different from what they were then, but not that different. i was on the please don't tell me what to do side of things then. i still am. i imagine that my views were more popular than they really were. most people agreed with me.
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it has taken me 25 years to realize that most people do not agree with me at all. which is sort of a nice thing to realize. it is good to know. it is good to be realistic about your own views. if you have minority views, as i do, to know that. it forces you to explain yourself and try to bring people over. it is not enough to smirk and do the jon stewart thing and said they are so stupid. the people with a minority view have to make the case. usually they will not buy it, but sometimes that well. host: you had a conversation -- you had a conversation with jon stewart? guest: i have met him before. [laughter] >> henderson, nevada. you know where that is? guest: of course. guest: of course. >> you mentioned the u.s. civil
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libertarians. the department of education, is a relevant institution in today's society? with state budgets controlling education, where do you think civics in high school civics in high school curriculums belong? guest: i have done a couple of documentaries for fox of education recently. i am sort of up on it. i could not to speak your second question. my sense is that civics is being de-emphasized, but i have no data to back that up. english is important, as far as i'm concerned. it not only allows you to engage with the world, past and present, but it makes you a more interesting person, one of the main reasons we are educated in the first place, to enlighten each other and challenge each
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other. to be fun to read with. if you are not fun to meet with, your education has been for naught as far as i'm concerned. i am not kidding a tiny bit. the department of education is a huge organization that spends billions of dollars with thousands of people working there. they have got to do something useful. i have no idea what that would be, but i take it as a matter of faith that they have done something worth having. as you know, education is primarily a local matter. by and large they have done a pretty good job. most schools are ok, actually, because parents are involved in their care. most public schools are pretty good and that is because parents care off. that is really the answer. when parents are engaged, you have good schools. they are not the core problem no
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one wants to say it. no one wants to be a taxpayer. if you think your school is bad, move or get involved. or you just do not care and that is the truth. host: in the back. please go ahead. >> in from philadelphia, pennsylvania. -- i a.m. from philadelphia, pennsylvania. -- i am from philadelphia, pennsylvania. people without internet connections because they cannot afford it, should they also have not a voice -- also not have a voice in american democracy? guest: do you know people like that? >> yes. to your earlier statement about children from welfare, i was part of a program that does work and they are not all bad. guest: i was just saying that most people are not on welfare,
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for it is easy for the majority to say that. that is to my point about smoking or any unpopular minority can have its rights taken away fairly easily. but cutting something that most people get is really hard. which is why medicare is expensive and welfare is not, relatively speaking. i fundamentally disagree with your point. there is not a single person in america that has no access to information. there are public libraries in every community. i know that people busy. i know that people have a lot of concerns in their personal lives. lots of jobs, children, not a lot of time. that is the real issue. i am sympathetic to people that do not follow the news. there is no moral obligation. god does not care if you get on the internet or not. i am merely saying that the system is designed to be run by people who understand the issues.
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as i said at the outset, i do not vote on a lot of things because i do not know a lot about them. i am just saying -- let's be real and not encourage certain people do have control of the system. i am ignorant of a lot of issues and i do not presume to weigh in. i wish that some people would show the same self restraint. host: please go ahead. >> i am from middletown, md.. teenagers growing up listening to the opinions of their parents and peeress. what do you think is the most influential thing in this new age? guest: in my own family life profound hope is that it is me. i want my kids to take every word that tumbles from my lips word that tumbles from my lips as the holy gospel. not just to listen to it, but to ponder it and keep it close by
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their heart. especially dorothy. reflect upon it time and again. my sense is that they're friends of the most influential factors in their lives. which increases the debate. that was true in my life, as i got older. my friends influence me, i influenced them for the better. in the end that is kind of the in the end that is kind of the way that life is. i still strongly feel that my words are the most important to my children. host: tucker carlson, joining us here on george mason university in arlington, virginia. thank you for joining us. on behalf of the students, thank you for your questions, calls, comments. "washington journal" joining -- coming back tomorrow,